You Must Eat Life Before Life Eats You

by breelondon

  
 

  

Hi yummies!

Have been neglecting my blogging – but for the best reason possible – to focus on my real life adventures, and to enjoy this almost biblical spate of good weather we have been enjoying. Thought I would update you with what’s going on in planet Bree – but as it’s been a while, I shall break this blog up into two halves :)

Travel

In the book “The Art of Travel”, Alain de Botton poses the theory that the majority of a travelling experience is about who you’re with. This is such a simple, but true statement. For me, one of the biggest appeals of travelling, is simply the ability to get to know someone in an environment where no one knows you. Yes, it’s about the place, but ultimately it’s about the person. Exploring new restaurants, strolling down markets, me dragging you through shoe shops (considerably more fun than it sounds!), getting lost down winding roads, and the whole time, being in an unfamiliar place. In order to really know some one, or really know yourself, you must travel… it adds an element of freedom – and the only thing more exciting than an adventure, is sharing an adventure. As you can tell from my ever increasing tan (my skin tone has gone from Galaxy Bar, to Lindt 78% Cocoa), I have already managed to fill this summer with some fantastic away dates – Europe at this time of year is unbeatable, just a few hours flight and before you know it you’re stuffing your face with pizza, gulping down Aperol Spritz and wondering if it wouldn’t be such a bad idea, to sell up, to end the rat race and live out the rest of your days in a… 

Oh wait, we’re about to leave the EU and end Freedom of Movement. Great. And no matter how Farage wants to spin it, the Costa Del Skegness doesn’t quite do it for me, but I’m sure once I commit to my inevitable fate – participating in a sham marriage in order to obtain an EU passport (aka passport to sunshine and decent food) – it will all be worth it, because something something something sovereignty. But I digress… Have enjoyed wonderful trips to Italy, Spain and France, and still have so many more places I would love to visit. I’ve been speaking about doing a wellness/ detox holiday for a long time and am finally looking into it properly. I’ve found one very luxurious spa where, apparently,  they freeze you then microwave you. Who knew – people will pay top draw to get treated like a ready meal! Yes, I’m talking about the (ironically named) Cryotherapy, where they freeze you to -90 degrees. Have you heard of it? …No? me neither! So maybe I’ll give this one a miss, but I have seen some amazing spas in Iceland and Scandinavia which have the perfect mix of wellness, healthy food, and being set in beautiful countryside.  At the moment my top 6 places in Europe I haven’t visited but would love to visit are: Sardinia, Monaco, Croatia, Vienna, Ibiza (crazy that I haven’t been!), and Lisbon. I appreciate places with good culture, good food, and interesting  people. Travel can be luxurious (I visited the amazing Keemala resort last year and loved it) or simple (one new years eve me and a friend decided it would be a good idea to go to Paris and not book a hotel with the view to simply stay up all night and leave the next morning instead. Inevitably, at about 2am this was looking like a very bad idea, and our nights accommodation was – I kid you not – a park bench. This summer has already included some fantastic travelling experiences, from sailing in the sun, to Champagne in the shade, and I am feeling very lucky, and very grateful, to have been in fantastic company the whole way through. I appreciate these adventures a lot – here’s to many more!

Gym and Sport

In the interest of the collective blood pressure of the nation, I shall completely ignore the FARCICAL DISAPPOINTMENT that was the World Cup, and move swiftly on to my golf progress. I can’t believe how much I have improved! I am genuinely so proud of myself for managing to get to the driving range 3 times a week, and the difference between when I started, and now, is massive. Mostly, progress is about my worst shots not being as bad, and my best shots going further, higher, and straighter than before. Today I had my first lesson on some of the short game – chipping and pitching, which I’m finding challenging, especially the pitching, but I’m enjoying learning all the elements of the game, and particularly an improvement on teeing off. Last week I managed to break 100 yards – which isn’t much to some people but is my personal best. I am one of those people who hates being bad at things, and found the beginning of my golf journey very frustrating, but am now at the stage where I can practice solo between lessons, and am looking at getting my own half set of clubs in the near future (I’m thinking either matte black, or a gold colour). I also tried rowing for the first time ever (have used rower at gym but this was my first time rowing in a boat on open water) and I’m surprisingly good! Once you get into the rhythm, there is something almost relaxing about it.

And another first – hiking, which is something I have wanted to do for a very long time. I can’t put into words the sense of achievement and physical pride you feel, reaching the top of a mountain and looking down. This was something I would definitely love to do again and one of my favourite ever experiences. I love being outdoors, and although I’m no Ray Mears, I do take a lot of pleasure from walking, and enjoying places of natural beauty. Gym is going well, but a little difficult to fit in around my other commitments. One good thing about having a personal trainer is the sense of duty and responsibility that forces you to be up at 7am and in the gym by 7:30. God, did I seriously just write that I enjoy the responsibility attached to getting up at 7am? Yikes – I must be getting boring in my old age! Another fantastic experience was wonderful and totally unexpected gift of two tickets to see the live tennis! I went with a girlfriend, and we had such a good time. I love the atmosphere that surrounds live sport, and being able to witness tennis being played at an elite level was amazing. It’s almost impossible to over state how inspiring it is! I used to sprint, and I understand from my own experiences, the sheer amount of dedication and hard work it takes to be an athlete. In a world of quick fixes and instant gratification, I love that in sport winning is about putting in the hours, and the hard graft (unless you’re on the Russian team… Joke!), but this relentless strive to better yourself is something I really identify with.

The Arts

Experienced the best night of jazz in my life at Ronnie Scotts, courtesy of the drumming legend Billy Cobham. London is a particularly dry spot when it comes to jazz – I was boogieing away in my chair (the music was SERIOUSLY funky) but to my dismay every one else was sat politely sipping Chardonnay – an insult to jazz! A couple of days ago I had another first – my first time visiting a comedy club. Initially I was hesitant, as I have to find things genuinely very funny to laugh out loud, and didn’t want to be that one person sat there awkwardly with my arms folded, but I really loved it and found most of the comedians to be hilarious (luckily, I narrowly escaped any of them making fun out of me). I can’t believe I waited so long to experience live comedy (with the exception of my day to day life, which I suppose is comedic, in a sort of hilariously tragic, yet strangely compelling way). One thing I haven’t gotten round to this year so far is the Opera; something I’m reasonably new to, but an experience that I am trying to enjoy more often. Most recently I saw Le Nozze di Figaro, at La Scala in Milan, and Otello, at the Royal Opera House. I like the excuse to get dressed up – and picking out a glamorous and elegant dress for the evening. I love the sense of history, the sets, and the beautiful Opera houses… In a magazine, I recently came across the Margravial Opera House in Germany. WOW! This has to be the most beautiful place with the most intricate architecture, absolutely stunning. It never fails to amaze me, the architectural feats that people managed to achieve, with no computers, no internet, and no electricity. In some ways it really puts the plain boxes we live in these days to shame! I’ve also been expanding my vinyl collection but have been stopped in my tracks by my record player unexpectedly breaking (both the arm, and the belt). In some ways this has been a blessing in disguise and I am currently on the hunt for a much better quality replacement with an amp and some good speakers. I’ve got my eye on (because I obviously couldn’t make this easy and just buy a replacement off the shelf) a vintage – late 70’s – Bang and Olufsen record player but I’m truly terrible at tech so still researching which one is best. Since my player breaking I’ve realised how much I love my vinyls and listen to my most loved records on a weekly basis. My collection sprawls from The Clash, to Genesis, to James Brown, to Tchaikovsky, to Prince, and I’m looking forward to my vinyls benefiting from a much higher quality player. Got one of my most wanted vinyls from my wishlist recently (Ambient Jazz Ensemble) and cant wait to give it a spin!

And because I don’t have enough projects going on… I’ve bought a massive canvas and am going to attempt another painting, but this time I think I am going to take more time to really plan and consider the subject matter. Like most people who paint – I am utterly deluded and think I’m brilliant, but either way it’s something I find very relaxing and therapeutic (hey, it beats getting frozen then microwaved). I finally finished Orwells 1984 (I cried at the end – truly I am pathetic haha!) and have started The Psychopath Test by Ron Jonson, which is turning out to be an interesting read. I read Jonsons “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” and it was one of my favourite books from last year, and The Psychopath Test, has a similar relaxed and conversational style. ~I have been gifted a few interesting books – “Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are” by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, “Post Truth – the new war on truth and how to fight back” by Matthew D’ancona, and “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” by Joan Didon, which comes highly recommended and will probably be the next read on my list. 

So that’s the news on Travel, Sport and the Arts – will be back next week with the second half of this blog (Politics, Personal Development, Sex, Food!)

My apologies for my recent lack of availability, as you will be aware I am raising my rates in September, so am anticipating myself to have a little more free time for us to  get to know each other. Thanks for being patient :)

Big kisses everywhere,

Bree x